Florida Tax Laws for Small Internet Business by gcp18438

VIEWS: 12 PAGES: 9

More Info
									2002 Regular Legislative Session

 Report on Issues of Interest to




             April 2002
4/10/02                                                                                          2


                  2002 Regular Legislative Session
                   Report on Issues of Interest to
                       Enterprise Florida, Inc.
                                         - Index -
          Policy Area                    Legislation                                     Page


Economic Development

                  SB 386 - Black Business Investment Board                                 3
                  SB 688 - Florida Space Authority                                         3
                  SB 777 - Public Records Exemption                                        3
                  HB 1307 – Florida Building Code                                          3
                  HB 1341 – Community Redevelopment / Brownfield’s                         4
                  SB 1794 - Enterprise Zones                                               4
                  SB 1844 - Technology Development Act                                     4
                  SB’s 1906 & 550 – Growth Management                                      6
                  SB 1912 - Defense Contractors                                            6

Transportation & State Procurement and Permitting
                  HB 261 - Transportation                                                  7
                  HB 329 - Small Aircraft                                                  7
                  HB 813 - Everglades / Expedited Permitting                               7
                  HB 1977 - State Procurement / High-Speed Rail                            7

Workers’ Compensation & Taxation
                  SB 108 - Workers’Compensation                                            7
                  SB 426 - Tax Administration                                              8
                  HJR 833 - Tax Reform                                                     8
                  SB 2028 - Corporate Income Tax Update                                    9

Trust Fund Reenactment
                  SB’s 846, 848, 850 & 852                                                 9




   2002 Regular Legislative Session Report on Issues of Interest to   Enterprise Florida, Inc.
4/10/02                                                                                          3


                               Economic Development
CS/CS/CS/SB 386 - Florida Black Business Investment Board

The bill substantially modifies the Florida Black Business Investment Board
(BBIB) and removes it from the OTTED, while providing for the creation of the
BBIB as a not-for-profit corporation.           The bill assigns two new BBIB
responsibilities which interrelate directly with Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI). They
are:
   o Delivering - where practicable - economic development services relating to
      black business enterprises under a contract with EFI; and
   o Working with EFI and local economic development organizations to
      promote the recruitment, formation, retention and expansion of new and
      existing black business enterprises.

CS/SB 688 – Florida Space Authority

The bill changes the statutory name of the Spaceport Florida Authority to “Florida
Space Authority”. It makes many changes to the Florida Space Authority Board
of Supervisors and the Spaceport Management Council, including revising the
membership, mission, administration and reporting requirements.

CS/HB 777 – Public Records Exemption for Business Information

The bill creates a public records exemption for specified business information
compiled under the CITC, QDC, QTI, HIPI, and QAC state economic
development incentive programs. This business information (including certain
proprietary, trade-secret, and personal data), will be confidential and exempt
from the public records law if held by Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI); the
Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development (OTTED);
county or municipal governmental entities; or the employees or agents of
OTTED, EFI, or local government entities.

The bill authorizes economic development program administrators to publish
statistics in the aggregate and classified as to prevent the identification of a
single qualified business.

CS/HB 1307 – Florida Building Code

This comprehensive legislation addresses many issues relating to the Florida
Building Code (FBC) development and administration. Issues of interest to EFI
include requirements that the Florida Building Commission:
       o Grant a waiver from the accessibility requirements of the FBC if the
          applicant demonstrates an economic hardship in accordance with
          federal law; and


   2002 Regular Legislative Session Report on Issues of Interest to   Enterprise Florida, Inc.
4/10/02                                                                                          4


          o Establish an informal process of rendering non-binding interpretations
            of the FBC.

HB 1341 – Community Redevelopment Agencies / Brownfield Refunds

This is a clarifying bill that revises statutory provisions relating to community
redevelopment agencies (CRA), and the Brownfield redevelopment bonus refund
program.

          Community Redevelopment Agencies -

          The CRA provisions include more restrictive definitions for “slum area” and
          “blighted area”. As well as, clarifying language on the governance of the
          CRAs.

          Brownfield Refunds -

          The bill also increases the number of business potentially eligible for
          Brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds.        It accomplishes this by
          replacing certain wage requirement thresholds with a criterion that: an
          eligible business provides benefits to its employees; and distinguishes
          between Brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds to QTI businesses and
          other eligible businesses. Specifically, the bill defines other eligible
          businesses as those businesses with a fixed capital investment of at least
          $2 million in mixed use business activities and who provide benefits to
          their employees. The bill further provides that a bonus refund of up to
          $2,500 must be allowed for each new Florida job created in a Brownfield.
          The amount of the refund must be equal to 20 percent of the average
          annual wage for the jobs created.

SB 1794 – Enterprise Zones

The bill authorizes specified counties to apply to the OTTED by December 31,
2002, to amend their existing enterprise zones by replacing areas not suitable for
development with areas suitable for development. The counties authorized are:
Alachua, Broward, Hendry, Highlands, Jackson, Palm Beach and Volusia
Counties.

CS/SB 1844 – Economic Development

The bill modifies several programs. Of interest to economic development experts
are amendments to three economic development initiatives and the creation of
two new programs to be known as the Florida Technology Development Act, and
the Tourism Industry Recovery Act of 2002.




   2002 Regular Legislative Session Report on Issues of Interest to   Enterprise Florida, Inc.
4/10/02                                                                                          5


          Florida Technology Development Act -

          The Florida Technology Development Act establishes a process for the
          State Board of Education to develop, approve and authorize expenditures
          for a plan for establishing one or more “centers of excellence” at or in
          collaboration with universities in the state.      The term “centers of
          excellence” is defined as an organization of personnel, facilities and
          equipment which, among its functions, identifies and pursues opportunities
          for research and technology transfer, recruits and retains world-class
          researchers, and stimulates and supports the growth of the state’s
          technology industry.

          The process created by this bill includes the creation of the Emerging
          Technology Commission for the purpose of recommending preliminary
          plans to the Board for consideration. When developing plans, the
          Commission must consider certain input from the Florida Research
          Consortium, Inc. Members of the EFI Technology Leadership Council,
          along the council manager are participating members of the Consortium.

          Tourism Industry Recovery Act of 2002 –

          The bill authorizes the revenues from the additional local option tourist
          development tax to also be used to promote and advertise tourism.

          Technology Program Review -

          The bill requires the Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and
          Government Accountability (OPPAGA) to conduct, before the December
          1, 2002, the review required under section 14 or Chapter 93-187, L.O.F.,
          relating to the sunset of certain Enterprise Florida, Inc. program evaluation
          and justification review criteria.

          Internet-Based System for the State Information Technology Industry -

          The bill reassigns responsibility for the development and maintenance of a
          website for information technology industry promotion and workforce
          recruitment to Workforce Florida, Inc. (WFI), from the Department of Labor
          and Employment Security.           The bill charges WFI with ensuring
          coordination and compatibility between the website and the larger
          workforce information system. Furthermore, the bill requires WFI to
          coordinate its work with the high-technology marketing campaign of
          Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the State Technology Office effort’s to ensure
          consistency with the state’s information system strategy and enterprise
          architecture.




   2002 Regular Legislative Session Report on Issues of Interest to   Enterprise Florida, Inc.
4/10/02                                                                                          6



          Bond-Financed Projects in Research and Development Parks -

          The bill provides that projects located in a research and development park
          that are financed through the Florida Industrial Development Financing Act
          may be operated by a research and development authority, a state
          university, a state community college, or a governmental agency if the
          purpose and operation of the projects are consistent with the policies
          governing research and development authorities.

CS/SB’s 1906 & 550 – Growth Management

This bill makes numerous changes to the Local Government Comprehensive
Planning and Land Development Act, and the Development-of-Regional-Impact
program. A major purpose of the bill is to increase coordination between school
districts and local governments in the planning of educational facilities.
Provisions of interest to EFI include amendments providing for:
    o Reduction from a two-step to a one-step process for adoption of local
        government comprehensive plans or plan amendments;
    o Governance changes to include specific standards for the density or
        intensity of use allowed in each land category to clarify that the standards
        must be related to the control and distribution of population densities and
        building and structure intensities;
    o Local government authority to issue a waiver from the concurrency
        requirement for urban infill and redevelopment areas, if such waiver does
        not endanger public health or safety; and
    o Coordination of the roles of local governments and Water Management
        Districts in regional water supply planning.

CS/SB 1912 – Defense Contractors

The bill revises the eligibility criteria for the QDC. It increases the number of
businesses potentially eligible for the program by:
   o Expanding the meaning of the term “Department of Defense contract” to
      include competitively bid DOD subcontracts, competitively bid federal
      agency subcontracts issued on behalf of the DOD, and contracts or
      subcontracts for the products or services for military use which contracts
      or subcontracts are approved by the DOD, the US Department of State, or
      the US Coast Guard; and
   o Reducing various gross-receipt thresholds that applicants must meet or
      exceed in order to qualify for review by the OTTED.




   2002 Regular Legislative Session Report on Issues of Interest to   Enterprise Florida, Inc.
4/10/02                                                                                          7


            Transportation & State Procurement and Permitting
CS/HB 261 - Transportation

The bill is a comprehensive transportation package that consists of the
substance of many transportation bills. Including issues relating to:
   o Commercial Trucks;
   o Turnpike Enterprise; and
   o Billboards.

HB 329 – Small Aircraft

This bill makes Florida a participant in the Small Aircraft Transportation System
(SATS) project. Thus Florida will be part of the SATS strategy focusing on
airborne technologies that expand the use of airports with excess capacity as
well as underutilized, unmanaged airspace for transportation use.

HB 813 – Everglades Restoration / Expedited Permitting Process

The bill, among its provisions relating to the Everglades restoration, amends the
Environmental Protection Act to prohibit citizens from using the act to initiate
administrative proceedings under the Administrative Procedures Act.

HB 1977 – State Procurement / High-Speed Rail / Transportation Issues

This bill includes provisions recommended as a result of an interim study on the
new methods of state procurement. Enacted by the bill are issues relating to:
   o Invitations to Negotiate;
   o Requests for Quotes;
   o Notice of Procurement Decisions and Protests;
   o High-Speed Rail Authority; and
   o Transportation Issues.


                       Workers’ Compensation & Taxation

CS/CS/SB 108 – Workers’ Compensation

This bill provides significant changes to the workers’ compensation system that
are designed to expedite the dispute resolution process, eliminate exemptions
from coverage for most commercial construction job sites, provide greater
enforcement authority for the Division of Workers’ Compensation to enforce
exemption and coverage requirements, and reduce costs for the overall
administration of the workers’ compensation system. The changes include
issues relating to:
   o Informal dispute resolution;

   2002 Regular Legislative Session Report on Issues of Interest to   Enterprise Florida, Inc.
4/10/02                                                                                          8


    o Formal dispute resolution;
    o Medical fees and medical cost containment; and
    o Exemptions from workers’ compensation coverage.

CS/SB 426 – Tax Administration

This bill includes the Department of Revenue’s general tax administration bill and
the recommendations of the State Tax Reform Task Force and the Tax Section
of The Florida Bar. Some of the bills major provisions are listed herein:
    o For sales tax purposes the bill replaces the definition of certain machinery
       and equipment with a definition that is consistent with a past federal
       explanation of the term;
    o Provides for consistent treatment under the sales tax statutes for vessels,
       railroads, and motor vehicles engaged in interstate or foreign commerce;
    o Extends for an additional 3 years, from 2003 to 2006, the sales tax
       exemptions awarded to facilities such as civic centers, convention halls,
       stadiums and performing arts centers; and
    o Reenacts the aviation fuel tax credit for certain airlines.

CS/CS/HJR 833 – Resolution to Create a Joint Committee to
                Review Florida’s Sales and Use Taxation Laws

If approved by the voters in the November 5, 2002, general election, this
constitutional amendment will take effect on that date and create a Joint
Committee consisting of six Senators appointed by the President of the Senate
and six Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House. The committee
is charged to review all exemptions from the sales and use tax and all exclusions
of sales of services from the sales and use tax.

No later than the end of the next session in May 2003, the Legislature must
agree on joint rules to govern this committee. These rules must establish a
schedule for review of such exemptions and exclusions and provide criteria to be
considered by the committee in conducting its review. Over the next three years,
the committee must meet to review all exemptions and exclusions from the tax.
The committee must submit it is findings and recommendations to the presiding
officers of each house of the Legislature no later than March 1 of 2004, 2005,
and 2006.

The committee may decide to repeal an exemption or exclusion from the sales
and use tax by a vote of seven members of the committee. A decision to de-
authorize or repeal an exemption or exclusion is codified in the form of a
resolution and submitted to the Legislature. The Legislature then has two regular
sessions to consider the resolution. If the Legislature believes the exemption
should be reinstated or the exclusion should be re-authorized, the Legislature
can reinstate it by a simple majority of both chambers.



   2002 Regular Legislative Session Report on Issues of Interest to   Enterprise Florida, Inc.
4/10/02                                                                                          9


If the Legislature concurs with the committee’s recommendations and takes no
action, on July 1, following the second regular session after the committee’s
finding, the repeal of the exemption or the de-authorization of the exclusion
becomes law.

The Joint Committee is dissolved July 1, 2006.

SB 2028 – Corporate Income Tax Update

This bill updates the Florida Income Tax Code to reflect changes Congress made
to the US Internal Revenue code of 1986. Annual bills to update the Florida
Income Tax Code are drafted with the intent of “piggybacking” congressional
amendments to the federal taxable income laws. This practice provides for
consistency in federal/state corporate income tax laws.

At present time (April 7, 2002), conflicting legal interpretations exist over the
implementation of SB 2028 and whether or not it incorporates the provisions of
the new federal, ”Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002” passed in
March 2002. This act contains a provision known as a “bonus” depreciation
allowance. This bonus includes a retroactive effective date for investments made
after September 10, 2001. It is estimated that the bonus depreciation allowance
could save Florida’s corporations $272 million is tax savings.

To resolve this legal disagreement, the Florida Legislature could enact clarifying
or corrective language, or the Florida Judicial branch could issue an opinion.


                              Trust Fund Reenactment
SB 846 – Economic Development Transportation Trust Fund
SB 848 – Economic Development Trust Fund
SB 850 – FL International Trade and Promotion Trust Fund
SB 852 – Grants and Donations Trust Fund




                         For bill text and more information visit
                         MyFlorida.com and Online Sunshine
                                         or contact:
                                     Lindy L. Kennedy,
                          Governmental Relations Manager
                                  Capitol Hill Group, LLP
                                 lkennedy@chgmail.com
                                    850/201-2075 ext. 4


   2002 Regular Legislative Session Report on Issues of Interest to   Enterprise Florida, Inc.

								
To top